For fifteen years Bill worked as a research Lab Director in the Hewlett Packard corporate labs in Bristol where he set up the Personal Systems Lab that explored early ideas in mobile and pervasive computing – using user research to look at everyday uses of digital technology. Leaving HP to pursue these ideas and set up an innovation consultancy, The Appliance Studio, Bill collaborated with Phil Stenton of HP Labs to co-found the Mobile Bristol project, and following on from that helped develop the proposal for the Pervasive Media Studio.
Throughout this time his dual interest in exploring how people relate to technology in their everyday lives and the need to find ways to guide long range research strategy, led him to become deeply involved in the field of futures and how we understand socio-technical systems. Bill now works with a wide range of organisations exploring new futures techniques and applying them to complex problems, notably with the International Futures Forum. His main research focus is a multi-year project called Economies of Life in which he explores how we can create healthy creative eco-systems of art and culture. Bill is Visiting Professor of Digital Cultures at UWE Bristol.